What lies beneath Tahoe

The article about Pyramid/Tahoe tall tales (RN&R, May 2023) needs some upgrading. Lake Tahoe has significant issues with introduced species, including “crawdads,” which are a huge problem on the south shore. The native cutthroat trout were extirpated from the lake, in part due to predation by the big “Macs.” The coldest sustained temperature at depth in the lake is 41 degrees.

The trees in Fallen Leaf and Emerald Bay/Tallac lakes are the result of historical fluctuating water levels due to ice dams, glacial activity and long droughts. Logging has no connection to the submerged trees or stumps. Lakeside landslides have not raised the level of the lake in any measurable sense, though one was of epic proportions some 8,000 years ago. The 3-D video Tahoe in Depth at the Tahoe Science Center (Incline Village) explains these and many other phenomena in an entertaining and eye-opening 15 minutes.

As for Tahoe Tessie, the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) has an augmented reality game which uses the fictional creature as a means to interpret lake conditions and educate gamers in the real-world of its ecology. It’s called Find Tahoe Tessie.

Steve K., Reno

Green-washing lithium

In response to Jay Fisher’s letter (RN&R, May 2023), the question is not about whether we “need” lithium or not. It’s about: How much lithium do we actually “need” versus how much the green capitalists like Elon Musk tell you we “need”?

A report from the Climate and Community Project along with the University of California, Davis, estimates that if we continue to produce electric cars at the current rate, the U.S. alone will need three times the current global production of lithium by 2050. This is not only a short term, utterly unsustainable solution; it’s the purely the result of corporate greenwashing campaigns whose only goal is to sell more cars under the banner of “saving the planet.”

That same report found that by improving mobility in urban centers, reducing the battery size of EVs, and creating a robust recycling infrastructure, we could reduce our “need” for lithium by 92% and still meet the same carbon-emission-reduction goals. We should consider reducing these lithium mining operations like Thacker Pass by 90%. There are real, long-term solutions that we can do today instead of destroying sacred lands and important ecosystems. Choose sustainable solutions, not green capitalism. 

The Paiute, Shoshone and Bannock peoples of the Fort McDermitt Reservation were forced from their land, and neither you, nor any foreign mining corporation, get to determine the fate of someone else’s home, even if it’s “not on anyone’s vacation agenda.”

—Jonathon McNeill, Reno

Immigrant children are being exploited

A recent U.S. House hearing revealed that immigrant children are being handed over to guardians with little to no follow-up ensuring that those guardians have the best interest of the child in mind. Many are being recruited in their home country with systems set up to receive them on this side of the border to be put to work, often involving sex work.

Democrats on the panel complained that there were often insufficient resources, funding, and legal authority to do that follow-up. This cannot be the case for the richest country this planet has ever known.

I was outraged when the previous administration forcefully separated children from their families due to the harm it will cause those children. Not following up, for whatever reason, to ensure the safety of the children we’ve brought into this country is a similar level of negligence. Hopefully it is not the case that we’re hiding what is happening because of political embarrassment.

 Stay safe and sane.

Mike Rottmann, Reno

Online marketplaces boost small businesses

Small businesses play a critical role in communities like ours. My own shop, Dorinda’s Chocolates, and others like it provide good jobs and help to keep our local economy healthy. And thanks to the amazing power of online marketplaces, business owners like myself now have unprecedented access to new opportunities not just in Nevada, but practically everywhere.

Getting a business started is never easy, but thanks to the pre-existing infrastructure of online marketplaces, entrepreneurs can quickly set up shop and focus on growing their brands without having to worry about setting up shipping, search, and customer support functions. Even better, these marketplaces allow businesses to reach audiences they might never have dreamed of, which is no surprise given the billions of shoppers who use online marketplaces every day.

Online marketplaces have changed the way entrepreneurs do business, making it easier and faster for new sellers to make their mark. That means more success, more job opportunities, and most importantly more stability for local economies. Our local leaders should continue to ensure small businesses can operate successfully online.

Dustin Vance, Reno

Utah’s message: ‘do nothing’

Utah has an important message for surrounding states: “Do nothing.”

For over 20 years, we paid little attention to an ever-worsening drought until the point where all sentient life in our Great Basin homeland was threatened. Then our leaders said, “Pray for rain.”

We prayed, and God sent atmospheric rivers, not one, not two, but many to pack our ski slopes and fill our streams.

We also say there is little need to support public schools or prosecute and correct crime when you have a church education system and a solid crime prevention philosophy: “We teach them correct principles and then we do nothing.” We see little crime here, because we stay at home, where love abides.

Our streets are for homeless crowds. We do nothing except disappear them when celebrities and business conventions come to town.

Finally, we invite all to come to church with us, to worship this God who makes life so simple and easy to manage.

If you come soon, we will even have a small glass of water waiting for you. But hurry, this offer expires soon.

Kimball Shinkoskey, Woods Cross, Utah

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